The extended government shutdown is adding to the anxiety that some taxpayers feel with respect to when they will get their refund. The tax attorneys at Rosenberg Martin & Greenberg LLP cannot answer that question with any degree of certainty. We can, however, provide some guidance that will help taxpayers avoid the problems that can delay the processing of their refunds.

Will the wait for your tax refund be longer this year than in previous years?

In recent years, if you filed your taxes on paper rather than electronically, you could expect to receive your refund check within six weeks. If you agreed to a direct deposit of your refund, you would typically see the funds in your account within four weeks after you mailed in your returns. If you filed your taxes electronically, you might have received your refund within seven to ten days after filing.

Taxpayers in Maryland and along parts of the eastern seaboard generally file their returns with the IRS processing center in Connecticut, which has historically processed a huge volume of returns. This year will be no different. However, that volume combined with the uncertain status of IRS employees may extend the processing time that taxpayers have experienced in prior years.

Expediting the Processing of Your Refund

Filing your taxes electronically and agreeing to a direct deposit of your refund will expedite the receipt of any refund that may be due to you. You can also avoid delays in the processing of your federal and state returns by paying attention to a few simple details:

  • Check your tax returns for mistakes. Mismatches between addresses, misspelled names, and omissions of certain details may cause your returns to be flagged for extra attention. Proofread your returns to eliminate some of these more common mistakes.
  • Audit your math. Simple addition and subtraction errors will also lead to processing delays. Audit your math, or ask your tax accountant or attorney to review your math to verify that it is accurate.
  • Mail your return to the correct address. If you file paper returns, verify that you are sending your federal return to the appropriate IRS processing center and that you have addressed your Maryland or other state return to the correct office that processes returns with refunds.
  • Sign your returns. You will not be able to E-file without an electronic signature, but you can easily miss a signature on a paper return.

Better Tax Planning with the Baltimore Tax Lawyers
at Rosenberg Martin Greenberg

If you are due a refund for the 2018 tax year, then by definition you paid more than you owe and you have given an interest-free loan to the government. Many taxpayers perceive that a refund is better than owing additional taxes, but an optimum strategy is to structure your income and taxes such that you neither owe taxes nor are due a refund at the end of a tax year.

The tax attorneys at Baltimore’s Rosenberg Martin & Greenberg LLP provide strategic tax planning services for businesses and individuals throughout Maryland, Delaware, and elsewhere in the mid-Atlantic states. For information on strategic tax planning for yourself or your business, please see our website or call us to speak with one of our tax attorneys today.

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